Tips for Maintaining Hair Color from Olivia's Colorist of Choice

Curious about Balayage or how to lighten (or darken) your hair in the healthiest way possible? Expert Abby Haliti has all the advice you need before touching the dye this summer. 

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Now that salons are cautiously reopening and taking appointments, it might be time to consider a fresh summer color to complement a great new haircut. Whether thinking of highlights for the first time or in long need of a roots touch-up after months at home, Abby Haliti is the perfect professional to consult. Over the years, Haliti's work and tips have graced the pages of various publications, and she's also been Olivia's longtime colorist specializing in the Balayage technique. With each visit, she reviews the clients hair health, inspiration photos, skin tone, and face shape to ultimately advise on which hair color is best. Here, she shares her secrets on maintaining vibrancy in between trips to the salon, plus how to know which dyeing method is right for you.

Olivia prefers French Balayage when it comes to enhancing her hair color. Could you tell us a little bit more about this technique and the benefits over traditional highlights or lowlights?
Balayage is a French term that means "to sweep," which is what we are doing as we color the hair—much like painting. It's why I view our craft as an art form. The technique is also tailored to each guest where the hair is the canvas and we are the painters. To me, less is always more, and in comparison, foils can cause more damage since the hair is fully saturated with more heat to achieve a result. With Balayage, you are just targeting the top layer of hair and using open-hair processing. Not to mention it's long-lasting, where most guests come in every 4-6 months to even some just once a year! It also blends in as the hair naturally grows, and most of the time, all you need for a touch-up is a gloss treatment. With foils, maintenance is much more frequent plus regrowth is usually apparent. With Olivia's haircuts, her color always appears natural, and that's because Balayage simply enhances your natural tone without resulting in demarcation lines or harming the hair.

How can one maintain color/brightness in between trips to the salon?
In the summer, hair color can easily become oxidized and appear brassy since it isn't a natural process. Don't worry, though, this is totally normal. Color doesn't last forever, and it will fade as you continue to engage in your daily lifestyle. Chlorine, sunlight, and even hot showers can cause this to happen. To combat this, I recommend a toning shampoo—a.k.a. purple shampoo—to neutralize unwanted brassiness and help extend the life of your color. And don't forget to invest in good products overall, the same way you invest in a good colorist. Davines is my go-to line. They are a sustainably-focused brand and have a variety of options to choose from to suit any haircare needs.

Do you recommend touching up roots or dyeing hair at home?
Personally, I don't recommend applying an at-home color. When you think about it, covering your roots at home may seem easy, but it's harder than it looks. As a professional, we cover not only new growth but also use specific blending techniques to ensure that your color looks beautiful. When applied incorrectly, color can have a dense look that appears flat and dull, instead of vibrant and natural. It could also ruin your highlights or harm you if misapplied. However, if you are really in a pinch the L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Rescue 10 Minute Permanent Coloring Kit is very practical to use without causing any messy application. And then I do recommend a temporary root spray like Oribe, if you are looking to cover your roots at home. Otherwise, my advice is always to seek out a professional—remember, color-correction is more costly than the cost of a single-process!

A salon throwback with Andre Davis and Abby Haliti.

Now that we're in the height of the sunny season, what are the products you most recommend for heat protection?
Milbon Restorative Blowout Primer is my go-to product when it comes to protecting your hair from hot tools. It's a cream that preps hair for styling and enhances the performance of blowouts while offering protection. When it comes to natural sun exposure, I highly recommend the leave-on SU Hair Milk from Davines because it's enriched with UV protective filters that protect color and hydration during sun exposure. It also doesn't feel like you have any product on, which I love!

Related Articles